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tv   [untitled]    May 29, 2014 4:30am-5:01am PDT

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>> the first item on the agenda is roll call. >> commissioner mar. >> here. >> commissioner lee. >> here. >> commissioner mcray. >> present. >> commissioner walker. >> here. >> commissioner mccarthy is expected. we have a quorum. will all parties giving testimony today please stand and raise your right hand? do you swear the testimony is the truth to the best of your knowledge? you may be seated.
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mr. and mrs. access, 219 whitney street and to waive the assessment.
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>> staff recommends order of abatement and to [inaudible]. >> just a quick question. so the stairs are still missing, front stairs? >> yes. >> how do they access the building? >> not clear to me. >> okay, thank you. appellant? >> good morning board members. may i distribute some information to you?
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>> you can begin. >> good morning, i'm the own er of 219 whitney street, san francisco. i disrespectfully disagree with that statement. i have submitted photographs to you. except for the missing stairs and port coin the front, facade is nice. i did all the rebuilding work myself and ran out of money and time.
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i believe i have done a first class job nailing, shaning all the pieces. i cut every one of these tile pieces covering which runs all the way around the back. i did this at the request of the neighbors to the north which would have otherwise had a blank wall. i did all the copper flashing work myself. no one has complained about the looks of the facade. quite the contrary. we see page 10, 11 and 12 on how i plan to finish. we have no problem getting and out as the garage provides access. we are paying our property taxes so the city is not losing anything. if this is a public nuisance i
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dare point out the horrendous rats nests hanging around the city. this is what i see when i walk out of my home every morning. what baffles me is this pole was replaced recently. i wish the city would do something about this. i have some pictures from third world countries. reran out of money to finish the work and ran into severe difficulties, mostly because of financial problems. my wife is from el salvador where her family lives. when her father became ill with cancer and had no insurance we had to help and none of the money was tax deductible. when he passed away our resources were exhausted and we
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found ourselves deeply in debt. in september 1996 i developed a pain in my right arm. a tumor was discovered in my neck. fortunately i had insurance and went in for surgery at saint mary's. the tumor could not be removed, however it was benign, but it presses on nerves in my neck and a feblths my anlt. ability . in october 1996 our daughter was diagnosed with a disease that's a disfiguring condition that affects the bone, it causes joint pain and it affects about 300,000 people in the u.s. every year. this is what my daughter's limbs look like.
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then in we only get to see her about every two years. after saving money we hope that we could start the work in 2010, but then in 2008 the main sewer broke which wiped us out again. i had to hire two separate contractor, one engineering company that dug up the street and the other that replaced the pipe through the house through the curb. only afterwards did i realize the city was responsible from the curb out to the street but i got no reimbursement, so we were back to savings, but we were deeply in detd. debt. we had taken so many loans out
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to pay medical bills [inaudible] and we would actually be worse off than if we just continued going as we have. my wife and i are both retired, she's 68, i'm 65. we live on fixed income of social security and some rental property we have out in the bay view. i had a packing crating company out there, but wu now rent out the space and live off that. we are not destitute but on a very tight budget and kind of on the edge, it won't take much to tip us over. we're not happy about having this unfinished business with the city. it is not we don't want to finish, we're just not able to. i was able to do the work, but couldn't finish it in the time the city gave us to do it.
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i do not like to be told i'm creating a nuisance. a little over a mont ago i came here to city hall and spoke to supervisor winer about the utility poles. he was mostly interested in the utility boxes but i asked him about the poles. he said it would cost about a billion dollars to rectify. i also volunteer in a committee that's trying to build a park where the church is. there i'm helping supervisor farrell and in the bay view we're also trying to build a park but it's an old shipyard and the soil is contaminated, but i do work with supervisor cohen and this afternoon at 5:30 i'm actually getting together with her to have a bite to eat, we'll spend a couple hours to talk about how to make the bay view better. you're welcome to come. in the time i filed the appeal i also developed -- it says 29 seconds. >> yeah, you keep going until
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the end. >> our house does not represent a hazard and i do not believe we have a public nuisance. i had to prioritize and help my father and mother came first. i make no demands. i just ask that you leave us alone and let me solve my own problems. i ask that you give me a moratorium, which i saw that there is an opportunity for in the code. and i thank you for your attention. >> thank you. >> commissioner walker. >> can i ask our department a question? so the violation is for an assumption that the building was vacant and also for stairs, and that is the second -- that's the main egress and then there's one other egress that
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they're using; is that the case? >> there are two, one involves a complete vertical addition that was done without permit and the other is the front stairs exterior front stairs entirely removed. >> and that would be the egress required by the building code? >> yes. >> that's the primary egress and then there's the second one he's talking about? >> yes. and in the response, the permit was issued in september of 1984 that expired. they got a revision to that permit in 1987 and that also expired. >> okay. got it. >> is this owner occupied? >> yes.
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>> commissioner lee. >> could the homeowner have applied for an extension to the permits? >> at any time a permit can be renewed if it expires, it is also provision for extensions. >> what would have been allowed in this case? >> it would be possible, but very unlikely the department would issue renews and extensions going back to 1987. that's unlikely. >> they would just re-- apply for a new permit for the work? notice of violation? >> if they were to request to renew these two permits now, i'm sure we could accommodate that and get them signed up as soon as possible. >> okay. >> what do you see the timeframe for completing the work attached to the notice of the violation? >> right now there is no front
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stairs so there would be some time involved in reinstalls the front stairs. >> and then the other violation would require an inspection to see -- >> once the two permits would be renewed and issues, then the inspections would take place according to plans and code. >> i guess i'm trying to look at a timeframe for completing the work to hear these. two months, three months? >> that would be reasonable time, yes. >> tom. >> there is no permit for the stairs right now? >> the two permits that were issued relating to this are expired. >> there's no permit. >> i may have missed this, but can i have an explanation from the property owner on why the
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stairs were removed? >> when we did the remodel we had to remove. they were in very bad shape. whatever work we have done we have done with a permit. >> it's been empty since 1980. >> the upper floor we added has never been occupied. we've lived in the downstairs. >> what i'm getting at is it sounds like you did the proper thing to seek out the permit for the upstairs but then when you discovered the stairs were bad you didn't get a permit for that. why? >> the permit for the stair, that was all part of the whole thing. when i got the permit, on the
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the plans the stairs are shown. >> don, is that correct? is that part of the permit? >> is 1984 permit; is this what you're talking about? the 1984 permit; is this what you're talking about? >> the stairs would come down from that to this area here. >> that was part of the permit he was issued. >> i would assume it is. >> why is the front entry stairs removed without the permit? could it be was removed, but it's not finished yet? >> it was removed and then they got the permit for the major
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scope of work involving the addition, but because both permits have expired, there is no permit now to replace the stairs. >> okay. >> or to remove it. >> but it was part of the original permit that expired? >> i would assume it was because the permit couldn't get issued for the rest of the addition without displaying existing stairs in front. >> notwithstanding your financial problems, what do you feel would be a reasonable time you could finish the stairs, whether you're able to do it yourself or whether you have to hire somebody? >> just the stairs? >> just the stairs, but the
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vertical addition, i believe you guys are finished, but it needs to be inspected. >> it needs to be inspected and i'm not sure if -- is it title 24, the lighting and so forth has to be complied with so i believe we have to get another electrical permit to make sure it complies with the energy, but the rest of it, structural, plumbing, all of that is done. let's separate that addition for right now, but just the stairs, how long do you think it would take? >> if you look at pages, 10, 11, 12, it's not a simple thing. i wanted to make it really nice and i've had someone tell me it could take four to six months to do that because of the intricacy and mill work
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involved. >> it's great you want to do it nicely, but at the same time what is legal and up to code and as intricate as this, you might have to compromise. you may have to just put up a set of stairs that will meet code and not maybe have all the custom mill work done. you have stated you have financial problems, it might be better to do something more simple for now. the department has said that they feel they it would be reasonable for the set of steps to be done in two months. you're saying six. >> the contractors i've talked
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to, it looks pretty nice. >> i think commissioner mar is going the right direction. you could probably put in a set of minimal cost steps to get you past this violation. i do concur with you. being around this, people are -- who do this type of work like to take their time and like to do it and i respect it so it's not foreign to me if you did say six months, it really isn't, but would you be -- personally i think you are looking at a great deal of cost here. >> yes. >> and i do respect the fact you're trying to keep the integrity of the home. agreed on that. i think you've done a great job explaining your explanation. at the end of the day we have a
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law situation we have to follow, a code. would you be able to consider putting in visually a set of stairs that would be cost efficient to you and do it in a timeframe of three months? >> before i answer that, with all due respect, could i bring your attention to building code section 105 .38jj that i found, for financial hardship, the board may grant if moratorium to correct conditions that are not hazardous. >> it's already happened. it expired in 80 -- >> yeah. >> but the question is to you,
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are you willing to do, as commissioner mar has pointed out, kind of a cost efficient stairs to get you past the situation? fshlths >> i don't have a choice if that's what you request, do i? >> you always have choices. i mean, but as a compromise -- you're asking us to waive fees here. >> right. >> you have to give us something here because to the inspectors, you know, we talk a lot about human issues and problems here and we recognize that it's commission, but at the end of the day the inspectors have a job to do. if you can give us something we can definitely work with you. >> i would have to go back to the architect and have him redo the plans then and he's probably going to take two or three weeks to do that so if we could say four months. >> mr. walker?
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>> i think -- again, your house is beautiful and we all appreciate that we get into our times, but this is an egress issue and been happening since 1984, 1986 is when it expired so i guess i'd be willing to go for four months, but no longer than that. and the other issue -- i mean, i think we need to set the clock on both of these so i'd say four months for resolving both of the issues and up hold the -- what are the fees involved? >> thousand plus. >> the [inaudible] fee is $1038. >> i mean, here's -- are we in
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discussion or are we -- >> yeah, we're in discussion still, yeah. >> i feel like this has gone on a long time and that it's really our job to say here, yes, there's violations and you need to get this back. our staff has been involved with, you know, >> i'd be willing to give it more time than four months. it's not hurting anyone. it's egress.
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it's not a license safety issue. i can see the neighbors or the realtor might be annoyed, but i actually think we have much bigger fish to fry than this one and so i -- you know, i'm up for coming up with a creative solution that will make us, you know, consistent to up hold ing what we need to hold. >> i'm actually quite understand what the violation is. i mean, if the violation is just for not having their permit renewed so that a finance inspection can be made or so that profit owner can install the stairs the way it was permitted, then i'm thinking might have been just as simple as renewing the permit so i don't see a real -- a deliberate intent to do
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something wrong so i'm inclined to just say maybe give the property owner time to renew the permit. >> commissioner walker. >> on what ground? this is a violation, there's a second egress that's not here and i mean, it's not a problem -- >> i don't see the violation written as a second egress violation. >> right. could we have a code interpretation here. ? is there a second egress required for second occupancy dwell inging.
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>> say they land down on to the rebar on the foundation you saw and then we're all going to ask ourselves, why didn't we go ahead with the order of abatement and not have this on our hands. i want my hands to be washed of this so that if an accident happens we don't [inaudible]. that's where i stand on this. >> let me ask you then, how do we deal with situations where we issue permits for replacing front stairs? >> when we issue a permit there's a timeline and the property owner is encouraged to meet that timeline and get the work done and get it inspected. if they miss a deadline there's a provision to give and if the permit expires they can come back at a later date and renew it but this is going right back to 1987. >> i understand. but when we issue permits for people to replace their stairs, do we require them to have a temporary solution for egress?
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>> there is another egress. >> right now we have two expired permits for this building so without a valid permit in place that's signed off, i can't speak to what's legal and illegal in that house. i have to consider everything involved in that house is illegal. that's the whole purpose of an inspection, to verify that whatever permits are issued, that the work is done to code and if the permit is signed off, whatever the most recent sign off permit that states the legal condition of that house. if other property owners around the city were to follow this example, you have a permit issued 20 years ago and not care to renew them. if this permit was renewed before us, but they haven't even given the process of
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renewing the permit. >> violation. >> yeah, okay. we're all -- let's just try and get back on track here. i mean, on job sites all the time we build temporary stairs and the job could be there for two years in some cases. there's temporary stairs with handrails that are just doing the purpose of getting people up and down the stairs. if cost is an issue here, i think it's the most efficient way to resolve this. so what i'd like to put on the table if we could agree for him to reinstate -- take out a new permit, to install stairs that's cost efficient to the homeowner and the fees that are -- we're looking at here now, which i believe is $1900. >> $1038. >> to reduce that down to $100
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or something. that's the most constructive way to solve this at this point. >> i would be totally agreeable to that. >> we have to come up with solutions here and i can see that would be a good solution for all parties involved and for the commission, i think that's the way we should take this. >> commissioner mar. >> i'd be amenable to that solution. here's the thing that's a stickler for me as to time because while i'm sympathetic to the homeowner, but it's been a long time and we have to solve it. i would support mr. mccarthy's proposal but give it a time certain thing. you have to pull p the permit for the stairs, finish in a certain amount of months.
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i'm open to spread, whether we say three months, six months or whatever, but it has to be done. it has to be finished and expected and signed off on. it may not be as nice as you want it, but it's got to be done. >> are you suggested that the homeowner put in any type of stairs that is up to code, but it doesn't have to match what they intended to do? >> it wouldn't be a planning issue, it will be just a simple -- okay commissioner sweeney is going to stop me there. >> this is visible from the street, definitely has to go to planning. >> it has to go to planning so -- that's a time issue. you could still get stairs that would work and